[caption id="attachment_25768" align="alignleft"]Michael Goar[/caption]Following community uproar over books that many deemed racist and sexist, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) has decided to end its relationship with the books’ provider, Reading Horizons.
[caption id="attachment_25594" align="alignleft"]Baylen Thomas (Atticus Finch), J.C. Cutler (Court Clerk), Ansa Akyea (Tom Robinson), Peter Thomson (Judge Taylor) and the cast in the Guthrie Theater’s production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” Photos: Joan Marcus[/caption]I still remember being in my sophomore English class of about 30 students (only three of us African-American) reading aloud the American classic “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Yet again the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is embroiled in controversy as to the education of students of color.
This time around the controversy has to deal with books that were found to be highly offensive yet were designed to stem the reading gap among early learners of color. Also at the center of the controversy is a $1.25 million contract awarded to the company that provided the books. While students never saw the books (as they were pulled before distribution) the district still paid for the materials and now questions are being raised as to how was the company vetted and how could such materials ever be considered acceptable in an education arena.
[caption id="attachment_25487" align="alignleft"]straightouttacompton.com[/caption]So, there we were, Sept. 1, Tuesday afternoon.
Toni and I, westbound on University Avenue, minding our own business, approaching Dale Street, in route to see the movie “Straight Outta Compton.” A bunch of commotion up ahead set my spider senses tingling. Alert. Take emergency evasive measures. Turn off University.
[caption id="attachment_25368" align="alignleft"]co.ramsey.mn.us[/caption]Ramsey County JDAI Stakeholder Committee: August 18, 2015. Agenda: The next JDAI focus?
Brief background — JDAI stands for Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative. In 2005, community elders recognized secure detention (kiddy jail) as the entry gate to prison pipelines and mobilized an attack with phenomenal and measurable success. In short they said, “Instead of jailing low level juvenile offenders, let community serve as an alternative.” The annual intake plummeted in the Ramsey County juvenile detention by 70 percent in just five years. Yes, between 2005 and 2010, Ramsey County Juvenile detention dropped from more than 4,000 children per year to less than 1,000, with no corresponding increase in juvenile crime.
Monday, Aug. 3.
It was St. Paul evening at Kings Crossing, Community Room. Peoples from every walk of life poured out to say farewell, thank you and hello; expressing love and appreciation, wishing Jackie Cooper, the very best. It was good-bye and hello in the same event.
After 23 years, Associate Justice Alan Page’s second illustrious career is coming to a close.
The justice, who endeared himself in the hearts of many Minnesotans as the leader of the Purple People Eaters – the defensive unit of the Minnesota Vikings of the 1970s – is retiring from the Minnesota Supreme Court on Aug. 31. The retirement is mandatory as state rules say no justice can serve after the month of his or her 70th birthday. Page turned 70 on Aug. 7.
[caption id="attachment_25108" align="alignleft"]Northpoint Health & Wellness COO, Kimry Johnsrud, addresses the future journalists of the National Association of Black Journalists’ JSHOP student workshop. Photo credit: Harry Colbert, Jr.[/caption]The National Association of Black Journalists came to Minneapolis celebrating its 40th anniversary.
[caption id="attachment_25086" align="alignleft"]Dr. Josie Johnson implored the crowd to stay vigilant in the fight for voting equality. [/caption]The four living Minnesota legislators serving in 1965 in the U.S. House and Senate and civil rights icon, Dr. Josie Johnson, were recently honored for their work in passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
I just thought this was something cool to be proud of.
This weekend my son, Richard Chakolis, III (but called RJ), won his 5th State Championship in three different sports. The Brooklyn Center Giants football team he started on (he was one year younger and played up three years) won two AAU State Championships in football, he won two State Championships in wrestling for Smackdown/Farview Park and this weekend he won a fifth State Championship with the Robbinsdale All-Star Baseball Team. The championships were held in Duluth. RJ hit a 3-run homerun July 15th (his birthday) in a very critical game to help the team advance in districts. RJ has been very successful the past six years.